Usually, on a normal weekday, my boyfriend and I have a warm, cooked dinner. I always try to cook enough so that he can take some left-overs for lunch the next day. Sounds like I’m some good ole housewife, right? Well, the things you do for love…in his defense, he often cooks if I don’t feel like it. I know – gasp – that rarely happens. At least it rarely happens when I’m not preparing for exams. 12 days until my first four-hour-examination – that’s how much time is left. Are you all freaking out with me? Thanks, I feel so much better now!
I am in the last days of stuffing my brain with as much information as possible, and find myself feeling more and more like an emotional, ticking bomb, ready to take off any second. What tends to help me is to have some sort of plan for my day…when I’ll get up, what I’ll cook, when I’ll go out for a run (if I do so at all). What seems to hit the dust the most these days is doing sports…I tend to sub that out for eating double chocolate cookies I adapted from a recipe made by Angela Liddon @ohsheglows: I used 1 cup of spelt oat flour and 1/2 cup shredded coconut, as well as 2/3 cups brown sugar (instead of 1/3 brown and 1/3 cane), and I used cashew butter instead of sunflower seed butter. A girl’s gotta make do with what she has at home, right? They turned out beautifully, and I enjoyed some with chilled coconut milk this afternoon:
So much better than running, right?
Yeah right. I feel like I’m turning into a total couch potato, if we’re being completely honest, but I know that it’s just the way it has to be right now. The weather is not working with me, and even if it were, I just need all the energy I have for kicking my own butt back to that horrifying desk of mine. So, instead of doing sports, and instead of wallowing in it (all the time), I cook. And bake. And cook some more. Oh yeah, and I buy groceries. As a result, we have loads of food in our fridge right now, and we’re working hard not to let anything go bad…
…which brings me straight to the beautiful dish I made using (almost entirely) left-overs:
Looks delicious, right? Yeah, well, at least one thing I seem to get right despite all the procrastinating and headless studying going on (sorry guys, I’m in a mood).
This is not a vegan dish, but it is vegetarian (if you are not eating fish, leave out the salmon). If you really want to make this dish and are vegan, I will leave suggestions in the ingredient list, however I have not tested this recipe with vegan subtitutes for the cheese. If you do, let me know in the comments below!
This is a dish that requires a bit of preparation, but if you precook your broccoli, pasta (or have left-overs) and tomato sauce, this dish is thrown together within 15 minutes!
If you absolutely can’t wait, just eat this for dinner. It’s already perfect and delicious! Oh and did I mention pretty?
If you can bear it, take this last step (it’ll only take 15 minutes): Sprinkle some grated cheese on top, and put in the oven!
And, after baking, we have the super flavorful pasta dish I promised you: The top is lightly browned, the pasta on top lightly crispy, and the whole thing is just wondefully soggy and juicy due to the pretty red tomatoes! The feta and salmon give this dish some healthy fats, omega-3 oils and loads of savory flavor, and the chili adds that extra spicy explosion in your mouth!
Super-Flavorful Tomato Pasta Casserole With Broccoli & Salmon
- 250g precooked pasta (I used spelt pasta)
- 500g broccoli florets, precooked in vegetable broth for 7 minutes
- 500g cherry tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. tomato-infused oil (or olive oil)
- 1 chili
- 100-150ml white wine
- 2/3 of 1 pack of feta (approximately 130g) (suggestion for vegan version: 3-4 Tbs. soy cream and 1 tsp. of herbal salt)
- 1 bunch basil or 20g frozen basil
- 5 slices smoked salmon
- 2-3 Tbs. grated goat’s cheese (suggestion for vegan version: 2-3 Tbs. vegan parmesan cheeze, or roasted pine nuts)
- 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. finely ground salt (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried dill
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1. Precook the pasta and brocooli, if you don’t have some left-over.
2. Dice the cherry tomatoes, chop the chili, garlic cloves, and onion. In a large pan, heat the tomato-infused oil, and, once it’s hot, add the chili, garlic cloves, and onion. Once the onions are turning “glassy”, add the tomatoes.
3. Add the sugar and coarse seasalt, stir thoroughly, and put lid on the pan. Let simmer on high heat for about 3 minutes. The tomatoes will form a perfect thick sauce! (This would already be perfect on some pasta!)
4. Pour the white wine into the pan, and add the crumbled feta, and stir into the sauce. Turn down the heat, and add the dried oregano and freshly ground pepper.
5. Leave bubbling on low heat for at least another 12 minutes – the sauce will really thicken up and you’ll have loads of flavor in your sauce! After 12 minutes, turn down the heat, and set aside.
6. Once the sauce has slightly cooled down, stir in the freshly chopped (or frozen) basil.
7. You now have assembled all the “parts” for your casserole, except the salmon: Cut up the salmon, and grate the goat’s cheese, if you’re using them. Btw, this dish is completely free from lactose and caseine!
8. Preheat your oven to 210°C, then mix together the broccoli, pasta, and salmon.
9. Taste this mixture, and, if you feel like it’s not salty enough, add the 1/2 tsp. of finely ground salt. I did so, but I like things salty!
10. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, and sprinkle the grated goat’s cheese on top. Sprinkle the thyme, dill, paprika, and cayenne on top before placing in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
Let’s just let the pictures speak for themselves:
Once taken out of the casserole dish, the food never looks as yummy as it actually is. But, heck, I didn’t care one bit!
Pure bliss! You really want to make this pasta casserole, even if it seems like a bit of work. All those fresh ingredients combined with the satisfying, filling spelt pasta, will make your day / evening. Just trust me on this!
Oh yeah, did I mention this dish get’s by on exactly 1 teaspoon of oil? Yeah, who knew?